I am an extremely blessed grandmother of 7 granddaughters with #8 due in July, if the sonogram is accurate. Steve would want me to quickly add that they are HIS granddaughters, too. Many times we spend time with them when they visit with their whole families or during Cousins Camp. Occasionally, we’ll have two at a time, but rarely do we get individual time with these precious girls. Last week we had an opportunity to do that, not once but twice.
Penelope Delia Rodgers was born on Valentine’s Day in 2010. I was actually present IN THE DELIVERY ROOM for her birth and remember that she had the reddest little baby lips I’d ever seen. Penelope went home to two waiting sisters, and another sister joined the family exactly one year and 10 days later. No way was Penelope going to be swallowed up in all of that femininity without distinguishing herself. She has been noticeably independent from the beginning. She’s not afraid to go against the grain and often brings insight (and an impressive vocabulary) into conversations that go far beyond what might be expected for one so young.
For her birthday this year, she requested a trip to the mall. Translation: Please give me some birthday money and let’s have a grandmomma/granddaughter shopping trip. When most of her shopping experiences are treks to Costco with the whole family of 9, an individual excursion to the mall with plenty of time for leisurely browsing sounded like a great gift to her. Granddaddy didn’t want to be left out, so she happily agreed to include him. That would mean TWO adults giving her undivided attention.
She loved spending some of her money at Claire’s on jewelry and such, but she mostly enjoyed Books-a-Million and came out with three new volumes in a series she’s devouring. We gave her at least a dozen choices of places for lunch, and she chose the Chow King Buffet. Ha! Possibly our LEAST favorite place to eat, but this was all about Penelope. Right? Penelope chatted amiably and appeared to truly love her day of spoiling.
The second two-on-one time was more extensive and had been carefully anticipated for months. Our oldest granddaughter Allie Grace Greenhaw is a senior in high school. She’ll graduate in May and then head off to college. We so wanted a time to just focus on her, to encourage her and to spoil her a bit heading into the final push of school. After carefully examining her school schedule and the many commitments on her calendar, we found that President’s Day weekend was available. We decided that a cabin in Gatlinburg could provide some cozy times by the fireplace, a chance to soak up nature (something she craves) and some great food. With my infamous Clipboard-of-Fun-mentality, I started suggesting snowtubing at Ober Gatlinburg or tickets to some of the popular shows. Allie said, “If it’s all right with you, could we just snuggle by the fire, eat s’mores and talk . . . and maybe take a hike or two in the woods.” Why, yes, Allie, we’d be mighty fine with that plan. We picked her up from school on Friday and headed to the mountains.
Allie has a gentle nature, and we learned on the trip that she was voted the female student with the “Best Christian Attitude” in her senior class. What could possibly be better? She’s smart but rather shy. We saw almost none of that shyness, however, as she talked and laughed and asked us dozens of questions. She happily answered a few that we threw out there, too, for the purpose of good conversation, you understand.
The time with Allie gave us a chance to hear her heart about her future and to share some of our own college adventures. It was so reassuring to know that at age eighteen her Christian values are deeply rooted and her thoughts about church/worship styles/theology and the like are rock solid. She’s already picked out a church that she can’t wait to “plug into” next fall. Again, what could possibly be better?
Our hearts are full as a result of the time we were able to invest in these wonderful granddaughters. What blessings they are and what bright futures they have! Praise God.
3 John 4 — “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
Psalm 128: 5-6 — “The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!
May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!”
Proverbs 17:6 — “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their fathers.”
James 1:17 — “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights”